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NAR defends BPOs

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There's no evidence that relying on a broker price opinion "exacerbates mortgage fraud or abuse," the National Association of Realtors said in a letter defending the use of BPOs in the Obama administration's short-sale incentive program. Industry groups representing appraisers are pushing for a ban on the use of BPOs to value short-sale properties in the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program, saying they open the door to mortgage fraud. NAR says the groups have provided "misinformation" to the Treasury Department about the role of BPOs in mortgage fraud and the application of state laws governing BPOs. in a March 8 letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the Appraisal Institute and three other groups representing appraisers warned that the HAFA program lacks safeguards to prevent mortgage fraud schemes like "property flopping," in which real estate agents help investors obtain distressed properties at de...